Fiddle Camp FAQ

Who can attend the camp?

Fiddle Camp is open to children ages 7 through 14 years.

Fiddle Camp is recommended for children who have completed Suzuki Book 1, Old Town School's Advanced Fiddle class, or have received a teacher recommendation. The fiddlers will be grouped according to age and experience.

Where does the camp take place?

Fiddle Camp takes place at our Lincoln Square campus: 4545 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Camp classes take place throughout the building.

When does camp happen?

Fiddle Camp hours are 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Monday, August 7th – Friday, August 11th.

The culminating showcase for Fiddle Camp will take place on Friday, August 11th at 4545 North Lincoln Avenue, 3:00 PM, in Szold Hall.

Save the date! All 2017 Fiddle Campers are invited to attend the Fiddle Camp Preview Party on June 11, 2017 at 5:00 PM. This event will be an opportunity for fiddle campers to meet the camp teachers and fiddle with other campers!

What is the cost?

The price for Fiddle Camp 2017 is $500. The camp cost is to be paid in full at the time of registration.

Do you offer financial aid?

Financial Aid is available for all Old Town School summer camps. Applications are available as hard copies only, beginning on December 1, 2016. You may pick up an application at the front desk of any of our three locations: 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue, or 909 W. Armitage Avenue. Please ask specifically for the Summer Camp Financial Aid application, as it is in a different format (and color!) than our other financial aid applications.

To submit your application, you'll need to drop off your completed form during regular business hours with an attached copy of your most recent 1040 tax return (for proof of household income). Once your application for financial aid is received, you can expect to hear from us within two weeks. If you qualify for financial aid, we’ll let you know your award amount at that time. Financial aid for summer camp has rolling admission, and will be distributed to qualifying families on a first-come, first-serve basis. Since financial aid is awarded only as long as funds are available, we strongly encourage you to apply by March 1, 2017.

How is the camp day structured?

Fiddle Camp is a jubilant, week-long experience rooted in folk traditions. Each day, the campers will have classes with Old Town School teaching artists in Southwest fiddle, old-time fiddle, folk dance, and Kodály method. Our Fiddle Campers are divided into small classroom groups based on age and experience. The entire camp is together during the morning gathering, snack time, lunchtime, and afternoon jams.

What will my child learn and experience in the Old-Time fiddle class?

In the old-time fiddle class, students will learn several toe-tapping Appalachian square dance tunes (and one excellent joke). The fiddle tunes will be taught by ear, phrase by phrase. Students will also learn about each tune's source and sing any lyrics associated with the tune. All of the tunes (and the joke) will be well-suited for sharing at jam sessions at camp and beyond.

What will my child learn and experience in the Southwest fiddle class?

In the Southwest fiddle class, students will learn dance tunes from New Mexico and Arizona. The music is a mixture of Native American and European influences. The fiddle tunes will be taught by ear, phrase by phrase. Students will also learn about each tune's source and sing any lyrics and dance steps that are associated with them. All of the tunes will be well-suited for sharing at jam sessions at camp and beyond.

What will my child learn and experience in Kodály Singing class?

The Kodály concept is an approach to music education developed in Hungary during the mid-twentieth century by composer and musicologist, Zoltán Kodály. One of the goals of this educational philosophy is for the students to develop the ability to hear music they see and see music they hear. In Katherine’s Kodály Singing class, students will sing rounds, canons, singing games, and play-parties. All the repertoire in this class will be in the folk tradition and will be taught by ear. The students will then use aspects of all the music they sing to learn rhythm reading/writing and solfège (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do). The skills learned in this class will help each child strengthen their musicianship.

Who staffs the camp?

Old Town School teaching artists, with deep backgrounds in folk traditions and musicianship, staff our camp.

My child is really shy. Is participation in the showcase mandatory?

The purpose of the Old Town School of Folk Music Fiddle Camp is to allow children to explore the fiddle and musicianship while playing and learning within small group environments. We strive to teach fiddle in an exciting, productive environment wherein we encourage experimentation and sharing, and focus on the importance of the learning process. Participation in the showcase is encouraged but not mandatory!

What should my child bring to camp?

Your child should bring their fiddle and bow to camp every day! The camp will provide hypoallergenic rosin to all campers.

Each day at our camp is action-packed, so all campers should bring a substantial and nutritious lunch (with drink), as well as a morning snack (with drink). Lunch and snack foods cannot be refrigerated or cooked at our site. In addition, lunches and drinks will not be available for purchase from our café by campers. Please include the appropriate utensils and join us in our efforts to make the camp as green as possible — pack your camper's lunch in a reusable container, and use smaller reusable containers inside. Remind your child to bring the containers back home at the end of the day!

Additionally, campers should bring a durable, screw-top water bottle that should be filled at home every morning. Backpacks are allowed. Please label all of your children's belongings. We are not responsible for anything lost or misplaced.

What should my child NOT bring to camp?

Campers do not need to bring music stands or any printed music.

Please do not allow your child to bring any toys, trading cards, stuffed animals, or personal electronic devices to camp. If any of these items accompany your child to camp, they will be set aside and sent home at the end of the day. Phones brought to camp need to be left in a bag and either turned off or silenced.

Is there a camp orientation?

Yes! There is an orientation for all Fiddle Camp parents on the first day of each camp session. Orientation for Fiddle Camp is on Monday, August 7, 2017 from 8:30 - 9:00 AM and will take place in the lobby of our east building, 4545 North Lincoln Avenue. Further details regarding orientation will be available to camp registrants.

What kind of medical and emergency information do you need for my child?

We take medical situations and health care very seriously at our camp. Once you register your child for camp and make your deposit, you will receive a packet via email that will contain a Camper Information Form that you will fill out and return by June 1, 2017. No child will be allowed to attend camp without this signed form! If your child needs to receive (or potentially receive) medicine (including an Epi-Pen) while at camp, you will note this on your form and provide a signed approval note from your child's physician. Our camp cannot administer any medications without this form.

Do you administer First Aid? How do you handle emergency medical situations?

Minor bruises, bumps, bug bites, and wounds will be taken care of at camp. If anything more serious arises, we will contact you immediately. If emergency care is required, we will call an ambulance, which will go to the closest medical facility. During our staff orientation, all of our staff members will become certified in CPR and First Aid. Our staff also receives professional training in the administration of Epi-Pen.

What do you do to accommodate children with allergies, intolerances, or special medical conditions?

We take life-threatening allergies, intolerances, and special medical conditions very seriously at our Fiddle Camp. Parents of campers with serious allergies or serious medical conditions will develop an Allergy Action Plan or Medical Action Plan with our staff before camp begins. All camp families will have access to our Allergy Guidelines prior to the start of camp. The camp will provide hypoallergenic rosin to all campers.

Do you allow nuts at your camp?

Our camp is nut-free. Please make sure your child's lunch bag and backpack are free of all peanuts, tree nuts, and nut products. While the Old Town School Fiddle Camp is committed to monitoring foods and responsibly limiting potential food allergens, the school can, in no way, guarantee a 100% nut-free or allergen-free environment, and therefore cannot be labeled as an allergen-free or nut-free school or camp. We ask that all camp parents discuss allergies with their camper beforehand, and explain to their child the importance of washing hands before AND after eating, not sharing/trading food, and respecting the needs of campers with severe and/or life-threatening allergies. Our staff works with all campers to reinforce the importance of hand washing, not sharing foods, and respecting the needs of campers with severe and/or life-threatening allergies.

May I send treats with my camper to share with the other children?

We're sorry, but treats, including birthday treats, are not allowed at camp.

Is there a uniform?

No, the children do not wear a uniform. We do ask that all children dress comfortably. Keep in mind that the campers will be moving about a great deal, so it's best if they wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and shorts underneath all dresses or skirts. It's also best for everyone if your camper leaves distracting jewelry and accessories at home.

Do you take field trips?

We do take field trips! Each day we embark upon a busking adventure through the School and neighborhood (including Welles Park and Giddings Plaza) to share music with the community. Busking is a traditional form of making live music outside, on the streets, for the people, and it's an important aspect of our learning experience in Fiddle Camp!

I'm concerned about sun exposure. Do the children wear sunscreen when they go outside?

Yes! We are really invested in sun protection at our camp, and we supply (40 SPF or above) sunscreen to all campers. Our staff will help all children apply sunscreen before going outside. If your child is allergic to a particular sunscreen or sunscreen ingredient, please let us know ahead of time so that we can help your child avoid the allergen.

Does your camp offer an extended hours program?

We do not offer an extended hours program for Fiddle Camp.

What are your drop-off and pick-up policies and procedures?

Campers are to arrive 9:00 AM and will be dismissed at 3:00 PM. If your fiddle camper is between the ages of 12 and 14, s/he is eligible to sign him/herself in and/or out. You'll have the opportunity to sign off on this when you fill out the Camper Information form.


Questions? Contact Alicia Manson, Camp Program Manager »

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000